CANNES Q&A: ALEJANDRO CACETTA
WHEN former producer with the Patagonik Film Group, Alejandro Cacetta, was named president of Argentina’s National Film Board, Incaa, he faced five stated goals: broadening movie theatre audiences through innovative productions, developing multi-platform audiovisual content, expediting joined and private financial participation, federalising and promoting regional productions through Incaa subsidies, and taking local productions to regional and global levels. We caught up with him to hear about his first five months in the post.
What have those five months been like? Have you managed to make any important changes so far?
After my first five months, I can define this period with a simple word: intense. We have made important changes, many of these are internal but they are going to be the basis to support the rest of the policies for the industry, locally and internationally. We have introduced important concepts, planning and objectives for each area – these are the most significant changes.
Of your five main stated goals, which are you most confident about achieving the most quickly?
Each objective needs a different time period to be developed, tested and consolidated. I am confident and enthusiastic in achieving all the objectives. I think objective that will take the longest to achieve – and which should exceed the time of my management –, is the generation of audiences for our productions. For obvious reasons, it is a programme we have already launched and it takes time to see results. I really hope it can be continued and improved by future administrations. The rest of the goals are going to be achieved more or less at the same time – between this year and the next.
You hold a number of key roles in Argentina’s film industry. What are the key strengths of the industry in Argentina? What are its key weaknesses, from your standpoint?
I think we have several strengths in our industry today. We have the experience to develop a project, from the artistic, production and financial points of view. We also have the talent and experience to create productions of quality – whether for ourselves or for third parties. But we have to work hard to grow and consolidate our internal market, as achieving that will mean our movies can reach wider audiences.
The Incaa role precludes you from producing. Do you miss that?
Yes that´s right, but I don´t have time to think about my previous role. I am completely immersed in my new responsibilities. There is Argentine involvement in five films in official selection in Cannes this year. Notably Francisco Sanctis’s Long Night and Malena Vain’s short film Business. It’s good news for the country. Yes of course, this is a very good representation of our industry. I am very happy that productions made by very young people can participate in Cannes. Some of them came from Enerc, the school of cinematography of Incaa, which is something else to be proud of.
What are your plans for Cannes this year?
One plan is to meet with other authorities from around the world, to establish the building blocks for future collaboration between our industries. Another plan is to present an educational programme that is being launched in Argentina this month, based on an agreement signed with the Institut Français last February. And finally, I hope to sign a number of different agreements for bilateral collaboration in co-production.
What are your immediate post-cannes plans?
Once I’m back in Argentina, among many projects, the most urgent objective is to continue working on a new subsidy scheme for our productions. I also want to complete quickly the analysis of how we can increase the number of screens on which to show our films.